Now Brandeis May Close Museum, Keep Art

But university president insists that museum will have to close
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 29, 2009 9:00 AM CST
The Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University, which is threatened with closure.   (courtesy Brandeis)
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(Newser) – In the face of universal shock and disapproval, Brandeis University has backpedaled on its plan to sell 6,000 works of modern art—but it will go ahead with its plan to close its museum. At a meeting with about 200 students, the university's president said that a sharp drop in Brandeis' endowment could be alleviated in the future if the economic picture brightened. "We have no particular mandate from the board of trustees as to when to sell, how to sell," he said.

On Monday the university's trustees unanimously approved a decision to shut the Rose Art Museum and sell off its collection, worth an estimated $350 million. In an interview with the Boston Globe, the Brandeis provost said shutting the museum would make it easier to sell the art, as ethics codes would no longer apply. Students are planning protests today and tomorrow to prevent the closure of the Rose, considered one of the country's best university art museums.